FLORIDA GRASSHOPPER SPARROW FIELD TECHNICIANS (4) – Nest Monitoring and Protection
Location: Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, Kenansville, FL
Duration: 19 March-26 August 2021
Job Type: Seasonal
Application Deadline: 15 January (or until filled).
Job Description: Four experienced seasonal field technicians are needed to conduct demographic monitoring research and nest protection of the critically endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ($14.00/hr; 19 March-26 August 2021). Technicians will assist with the collection of important breeding season data on a rapidly declining population of endemic Florida grassland birds. These positions are an exciting opportunity to protect and conserve one of the most threatened birds in the United States while contributing to a large-scale demographic research project. Candidates will also help with the ongoing captive breeding and release project. This will be the third year of the release effort, and field technicians will be inextricably involved with the collaborations necessary to achieve success. Further, Florida’s rare and unique dry prairie habitat offers breathtaking grassland sunrises and frequent encounters with some of Florida’s finest wildlife. A video highlighting the project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-UX2_QCPzI, press coverage can be found here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/racing-to-save-the-florida-grasshopper-sparrow/, and more recent coverage on the release project can be found here: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763521144 and here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/animals/florida-grasshopper-sparrow-will-probably-go-extinct-a-conservation-effort-may-be-the-last-hope/2020/05/01/4311eea2-6ece-11ea-96a0-df4c5d9284af_story.html?arc404=true. Pay is $14.00/hr (40hrs/week), with air-conditioned shared housing and 4x4 vehicles for work use provided on site.
Duties include: Conducting point count surveys, resighting color-banded individuals, finding and monitoring grassland bird nests, deploying nest cameras, protecting nests with predator deflection fencing, conducting behavioral observations, collecting samples for disease analysis, banding nestlings, data entry, equipment maintenance, and implementing adaptive conservation biology protocols. During the 2021 field season, captive-bred birds will be released into the wild and technicians may also help with the transport of birds from the captive breeding facilities to the field aviaries, monitoring and caring for birds during the acclimation period in field aviaries, and the effort of releasing birds into the wild.
Qualifications: Preferred candidates should have extensive experience searching for and monitoring grassland bird nest. Previous experience trapping and banding passerines and resighting color-bands using a spotting scope is also desired. Point count and nest-camera skills are a plus. Technicians must be organized, motivated, and adaptable to detailed fieldwork and data management protocols. Tolerance for high temperatures and extreme humidity is essential, as is the ability to live happily in a rural setting and in close quarters with other field researchers. Applicant must have a valid U.S. driver's license and be authorized to work in the United States. Previous experience driving four-wheel drive trucks and ATVs in wet conditions is also preferred. Dedication, sensitivity, and attention to detail when working with a critically endangered bird is a must.
To Apply: Candidates must submit in ONE document (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) a brief cover letter, CV, and the contact information for three professional references to FWCbio AT gmail.com. Please state in the subject line of the email the title of the position you are applying for: “FGSP technician position”. Applications will be accepted until January 15th or until the position is filled.